I don’t do well with winter. Short, dark days are not to my liking. Hibernating has always appealed to me and, in truth, I succumb to it to an extent, but I’m a person, not a bear, and friends and family get nervous if I disappear off the radar for too long, so I need to peek out from under the covers, or venture forth from my cave every so often just to set folks’ minds at ease.

I’m feeling far from perky, so a change of theme for the new year seemed a good idea, and the supplied header with its sweet weeping willow image off to one side and steps leading nowhere is rather fitting. Or is it? I’ve just discovered the 2011 theme has random header images. Interesting. A blog with multiple personalities. Also fitting. What image do you see?

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“Here is an amazement–once I was twenty years old and in every motion of my body there was a delicious ease, and in every motion of the green earth there was a hint of paradise, and now I am sixty years old, and it is the same.” *

There hasn’t been a delicious ease in my body since the age of six when I got polio, and I’m sixty-eight not sixty, but specifics are immaterial. Mary Oliver has, once again, reached deep inside my heart and given exquisite voice to my feelings.

Playing Frank Chacksfield’s Summertime in Venice today on iTunes I felt young and in love and it hit me that I’ve spent most of my life in love. The thought amazed me! It’s been a long life and one with the normal share of problems and sorrows, so what’s going on here?

The answer is, I’m blessed. Sounds simple, atheists might say simple-minded, but neither would be the case. My life is a complicated process demanding constant adjustments in thoughts and actions, in beliefs and reactions, but there are certain constants that bring me joy regardless of good times or bad. The major constant in my life has been my Christian faith and that faith has led me to perpetual thanksgiving.

This blessing of gratitude colors all my thoughts and life views and grows stronger and stronger by the day. To begin with, God loves me. What could deserve more gratitude than that?

My great joy comes in prayer, in nature, in art and beauty of all kinds. And so I am in love and in a state of wonder at the sheer magnitude of God’s creation. But I am not always happy. The miseries of this world are far too apparent and too appalling to ignore or minimize. A friend writes today about the seven deadly sins and votes greed to the top of the list. Yes, I agree. And want to shake the apathy from the placid and the evil out of the wicked, but who will listen, who will care? Most importantly, who will change?

So, I ride the waves of bliss and despair and my heart suffers, but scratch the surface of that bleeding heart and as it bleeds the hint of paradise appears, the promise, the glory of a God who is righteous and who will judge fairly, with both compassion and vengeance.

Mary Oliver lives in that state of wonder, too, senses and articulates that hint of paradise in nearly every poem. I’m grateful to her for adding to my hope, for singing her psalms of praise and joy, for loving the world and God as I do.

*This quote appears smack in the middle of Ms. Oliver’s poem Am I not among the Early Risers?, from both Thirst, and New and Selected Poems–Volume Two.

I’m up, but not quite with it, so I’ll try easing into the morning by way of some slow spiritual journaling as I encourage mind and body to tune into this Lord’s day.

It is late August and, as always, Charlotte has returned. I swept away her web twice yesterday. I regret this, but I didn’t want my friend, Milly, to panic if she saw a plump, juicy body dangling from the roof of the balcony.

After my first attempt at home wrecking Charlotte scuttled up and away as soon as I came outside. She did it again today. Does she equate the sound of the door or my physical presence with danger? Is it cleverness or simply survival instinct?

What an incredible skill the Creator has given these creatures. I wonder how it feels to spin yards of thread from one’s abdomen. Does it tickle? How much can she spin before the bobbins run out? Does she get frustrated and tired (Out of sticky thread again?)and have to rest and resupply herself? How in the world does she do that? Does she cry when wind and rain batter her neatly woven strands and guide lines into a tangled mess or when an annoyed human plows into her completed web by accident or whisks it away on purpose?

I marvel at the mystery and economy of her life. Her home satisfies her every need. It is her work and her God-given talent, her larder and resting place. It is her artistic endeavor.

I hope and pray it is her absolute delight, but if she decides to winter in here, I will be moving in with Ed.


This impressionistic end-of-day scene was shot from indoors, through both window and screen for Skywatch Friday.

Posted on SkyWatch Friday

This is just for practice using the visual editor and aligning text.  They say to put your curser  at the beginning of the text, then click on the picture when it appears and choose align left or right.  If the last time wasn’t a fluke this should work.

Wish I could see what I’m writing but the visual editor disappears behind the right side of the screen that contains the save draft and publish buttons.  Very annoying!  Ah! There’s a button called toggle toward the right of the list that gives me a full screen.  Wonderful.  Now there’s nothing in my way!  It does remove a lot of the buttons for formatting, though.  Switch back to work with color text or italic, etc? Since I can’t see the text color icon on the small screen, how am I supposed to choose the text I want to change!

Good thing there’s an undo button!

I just made the entire text a headline, lol.  Still working in small screen so I can access all the buttons.  There should be a way to access them in full screen.  I wonder how many days it would take to do find that? I gave it a quick look and I don’t think you can access them.

What’s with the small screen being so quirky though.  It’s maddening not to be able to see my full text.  That a WP bug or is it just in my blog.  Anybody else have this problem?

Here I am for the umpteenth time trying to figure out the visual editor and add a picture  so that I can align it the way I want . Took me all day to figure out how to find Visual Editor, it was turned off in my profile, personal settings .  Who knew?  Following WP’s tutorial, I’m going to click the top of my text and try to add the photo and wrap the text around it.  The first thing that needs to happen is that I need the picture to appear in the visual editor.  It finally worked.  I just added the photo the way I usually do.  I only clicked insert into post–nothing else–I had problems when I tried other stuff–like save it.